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My little brother’s dog

((WIAW)) Bearing It..

Ahh.. I know, I know, it’s Thursday, not Wednesday. She’s late again.

Anyways ((do I say that a lot??)), I haven’t done this for a long time…. This month is celebrating all things green. Though not yet in my case :O 😉 ..

WIAW GOES GREEN

To be honest, the majority of my Wednesday was spent sleeping. Which was actually .. great!! Pat and I were supposed to be meeting. He came round in the morning and we pretty much just fell asleep for hours.. It wasn’t until 18:40, when my Dad rang, that we realised we’d slept through the whole day!! Well, once we realised, we went out for a nice walk around the village in the cold breeze. We got back in and Pat ordered a pizza and sides. I haven’t really been able to eat ((without maaaajor pain)) so I drank tea and felt really jealous because I was starving did not envy him one little bit 😉 .

Soooo, this WIAW will be more of a WIDW ((What I drank Wednesday)) again!! Well, I did actually have some great meals earlier on in the week, so there has been some food!!

This is what I’ve been eating so far this week:

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A typical fruity breakfast, here. It’s a mango bowl, with orange, mango and passion fruit juice. This is MY “cereal and milk” 😉  This bowl made me feel all summery 🙂 – it’s just a shame that we had 2 inches of snow outside at the time!!

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A random juice. ((Bad picture, sorry!!)) I think this particular juice consisted of apples, pear, grapefruit, celery and coconut water. I love coconut water right now!! I haven’t been able to get to any markets that have fresh young coconuts, so my go-to has been VitaCoco – but it’s so good!!

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Here’s some green at last!! I had steamed courgette ((zucchini)), broccoli and carrots, a huge steamed corn cob and mushrooms sautéed in broth and tossed with hemp seeds. This was a comforting and hearty meal. Especially with how cold it’s been around here, lately!!

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A random meal!! This started out as a shop-bought Thai carrot soup, that I didn’t like very much. So, I made up a batch of Jemma’s curried quinoa, stirred in some peas and threw it all into the soup!! This was amazing!! I may even be tempted to go out and buy more random soups and use them as “sauces” 😉 .

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I had more of the chai-spiced soft-serve that I made the other day. It’s not too painful on my tooth as I don’t have to chew, so I made it several times 😛 ..forgetting how cold it is 😉 oops..

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And I’ve had lots of juices, including this one, my current favourite, fresh blood orange juice!! I love blood oranges so much, they’re gorgeously zesty, sweet with a sharp bite and a bit of a kick 🙂 . There’s a farm shop a few miles away from here, that sells the tastiest blood oranges, and an epic range of produce. I got a pack of wild mushrooms from there a few weeks ago, that had 2 different varieties of Oyster, Shiitake, Enoki and.. 2 types I couldn’t pronounce and don’t remember.. Anyways they were good!!

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When Luke arrived, I was just getting ready to go out. I donned my coat and hat, grabbed my Velo 9 ((bike computer)) and got on my bike. I passed Luke at the bus stop and he passed me about a mile down the road, on the bus 🙂 . I cycled through the next town and over the bridge, slowed down a bit to get some sun, then headed back. I was out for about 110 minutes, according to the Velo 9. It was a good ride, but I wish I’d warmed-up a bit with some yoga, first. I’d have been able to continue for much longer if I had. I have been doing yoga a little more. I found some online routines that are effective and easy to follow.

When I went out, the sun was shining, it was quite warm and there was a nice gentle breeze to balance it all out 🙂 what a welcome change!! We had snow in the beginning of the week, and quite a lot of it!! I was really surprised to wake on Monday morning to a 2 inch blanket of white covering every car, road, roof and every surface!! In fact, it wasn’t only outside.. I’d left my windows open just a little and the snow was coming into my bedroom :O oops!! I had 2 puddles on my window ledge and tiny piles of snow 😀 I have to admit, it made me laugh though.

Both Pat and I have been hoping that this nicer weather is here to stay!! I’m personally really looking forward to the summer and the sun sticking around for a bit longer. We want more days like this….

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Fingers crossed!! 🙂

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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in WIAW

 

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Secret Ingredient Pudding Recipe!!

Shh!! It's A Secret!!

Can you guess what the secret is??

This was actually my dessert last night, and was supposed to be a plain old soft-serve, but it turned into this..

Secret Pudding!!

The secret ingredient helps to give this pudding its creamy, smooth texture, whilst not overpowering the main flavours.

So, what do you think it is?? Avocado?? Tofu?? Agar-Agar?? Coconut Milk?? Nope, nope, nope and nope….

“Get on with the recipe!!”         OK, just bear with me a little longer please, this won’t take too long 😛 ….

What's The Secret Ingredient....??

The secret in this pudding is an ingredient that I had left-over in the fridge. I decided that it needed to be used, so I dumped it into my blender.. Who knew leftovers could taste so good..??!!

This ingredient is what gives this recipe its creamy, thick, rich texture, without over-powering the other flavours in there.. It’s a fat-free, vegan, naturally sweet ingredient.

The pudding can be flavoured however you wish – you could make it with cocoa; coffee; vanilla; berries; nut-butter; orange-extract; maple syrup; cinnamon.. and you could add in things like raisins; chocolate chips; granola; fruit; sprinkles.. the possibilities are endless!! 😉

I used carob powder, because I was looking for a chocolatey treat and love the taste, even over the finest cocoa!! I also didn’t add in the dates, for sweetness, as I love the flavour and balance of the carob with the other ingredients.

“Ohh for goodness sakes, what “other ingredients”?? Get on with it already!!”        OK, OK, I’m done 🙂 . Here we go….

Secret-Ingredient “How-U-Like-It” Pudding

  • 2 Frozen Bananas
  • 1 C Sweet Potato Puree <– the super-secret, not-so-secret, ingredient!! *
  • 2 Dates, pitted and chopped roughly
  • Flavourings: Cocoa; Carob; Maple Syrup; Vanilla Extract / Powder; Cinnamon; ….
  • Optional add-ins: Raisins / Sultanas; Chocolate Chips; Blobs of Peanut Butter; Sprinkles; Berries; ….

Simply place the frozen bananas and chopped dates in your blender and allow the bananas to slightly defrost – 1 – 2 minutes should be fine. Blend on low, then high, until you have a silky-smooth soft-serve consistency.

Now add in the sweet potato puree* and flavouring ingredients and blend again, until smooth.

Pour into your favourite bowl, mix in your add-ins, if using, now.

Enjoy by taking a massive spoonful, when nobody’s looking…. 😉

Secret-Ingredient Pudding Yum

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* to make sweet potato puree, peel sweet potatoes and chop roughly into small pieces ((approx. 1 inch)) and steam gently for 10 – 15 minutes, or until very soft ((test this by spearing a piece with a fork. When it easily slides off the fork, it is done)). Allow the sweet potato to cool for 5 – 10 minutes, but not too long or it will dry out. Blend until smooth, adding cold water until desired consistency is achieved ((aim for an “apple sauce consistency”)). Store extras in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.

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The next time I make this, I think I’ll add cinnamon and raisins, in place of the carob. Or maybe I’ll make a mango one, instead of the banana, and add in some berries…. Hmmm lots of ideas now, but I’d better go before this post turns into a novel…. 😛

WARNING: Beware of puppy eyes. They can reach into your mind and trick you into sharing your pudding with them….

Can You Resist This Puppydog Look??

See.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Recipes

 

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Simple Pleasures, Sunshine and Secrets

Hi, you 😀

Monkey Madness

We’ve been seeing more of each other lately, haven’t we…. Let’s try to keep it that way 😉 .

((What’s she talking about..??))

I’m going to try to be much more regular with my blog posts than I was last year.

A lot happened last year, but that’s no excuse to slack in writing!! So, hi everyone. Hope you can put up with me writing more often than usual 😉 ..

Computer Lessons From Ozzy

((^^ About 5 years ago, on a VERY old laptop 😉 )) — and in case you were wondering, ^that’s^ not me, that’s Ozzy., the Bengal >^.^<

Aaaanyways, what’s with that title?? Well “Simple Pleasures” and “Sunshine” are kind of linked into each other. See, I have been quite the “hermit” lately, getting myself stuck in the house when the weather is “gloomy”, “too cold” / “wet” / “windy” / “blahblahblaaaahh”, which eventually, always leads to “cabin fever” for me, the feeling that I HAVE to get out right NOW!! So todays sunny and warm weather was quite the turnaround. The “Secret” in the title?? That’s a secret!! Read on if ya wanna know it 😉 ….

I have Bandit here today ((see here for more about Bandit)) and try to make sure that I take him for long walks that will give him a chance to stretch his legs, get some fresh air and calm him down for 5 minutes!! tire him out a bit.

Today we went for a walk for a total of 10 kilometres exactly ((a bit over 6 miles)), according to my Omron pedometer. And well, it certainly worked 😉 Bandit is lying beside my bed falling asleep as I type this :D.

Sleepy

It was a very eventful walk, so I’m not too surprised Bandit’s so sleepy!!

We walked around the village, then down the country road into the next small town. Felt really good just being outside and walking. The warm sun and light breeze made it the perfect temperature – it almost felt like summer!! We walked through another small town and stopped at Sainsbury’s for a bottle of water, as Bandit was panting heavily and I’d forgotten to bring one..

We headed back after going to Sainsbury’s, walking a longer route back home. We met a Black Lab, a Chihuahua, a Yorkshire Terrier and another Jack Russell, who Bandit appeared to be in-love with – the 2 ladies walking their new Jack Russell ((Billy, 7 months old)) stopped and asked me if it would be alright to let the two meet, as her dog was new and hadn’t had much experience with other animals yet. So we let them play and sniff and follow each other for a few minutes, before parting again, but both dogs were straining their leads to go back!! We also came across a sweet old man who stopped me briefly to chat about dogs. I was asked for directions ((again!!)) once. Bandit didn’t like the look of a bus that zoomed past us, and tried to chase it.. and when we finally got back home, the moment I let him off his lead, Bandit ran up and down the length of the house about 30 times, stopping every now and then to bark at random inanimate objects 😛 . He does have his moments….

"Who, me..??!!"

“Who, me..??!!”

Back at home now, and feeling inspired and optimistic after being out in the sun, out in nature. Why have I been keeping myself cooped up all the time???? Silly..

So now I’m about to start making another StitchUp, I’ve uploaded a new one to Etsy today, so check it out here if you’re interested. I have some ideas for some brightly coloured, Spring-themed dolls. We’ll see what happens 🙂 ..

Ohh right, you want to know about the secret?? The secret is simply a recipe that I made for after my dinner today. It’s a  simple, low-fat, vegan, sugar-free, creamy pudding, and the “secret” is the hidden ingredient 😉 . I’ll be posting that soon, possibly tomorrow, so stay tuned if you like the look of this..

Secret-Ingredient Pudding....

Look good?? Don’t worry, the secret ingredient isn’t gelatine or anything nasty, it’s 100% natural and nice 😀 .

See you tomorrow!!

((P.S.. Pat will soon be featuring on my blog, and we’ll be talking gadgets, the future, bikes and other things 🙂 – Watch this space!!))

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Crafts, Photography, Serious Stuff

 

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I want to RUN!!

OK, it’s not something I’ve wanted to do until quite recently, but I am pretty determined to follow through with this. One thing though, I NEED to warm up!! I have tried a few times now to just don my coat, grab my MP3 and get running, but each time I run out of breath too soon and twist my ankles SO MUCH.. :(.

I have been reading a ((growing collection)) of blogs and trying to learn from them. Also, used to do a bit of yoga ((like, 90 minutes a day??)) at home and really liked it, but haven’t actually done it for about a year now.. As well as photography, walking, music, Wii Fit, etc..!! So, this year is starting off very slowly but I think I’ll get there eventually. In the mean time, next week is the last of my Work Experience so I have to make sure it goes well. I have a big decision to make after this week. And I’m pretty nervous..

This morning I got up at 07:00 ((here’s where Pat would go “what, 07:00, on a Sunday!!?? Why????”)) and took my brother’s dog, Bandit for a walk/run. Here he is ((This pic was taken a while back, at the beach)):

Bandit loves the beach!! Not such a fan of the sea, though ;):

Hopefully Bandit will be in a few more posts soon as he helps motivate me to get back in-shape!!

After the walk/run, we all went to my Grandparents and took them out to lunch.

That was pretty much how today went. Next week is my last week, so, 05:00 start tomorrow. Be back probably on Wednesday, and WIAW possibly 🙂 . See you ;).

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Serious Stuff

 

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